Meet Nintendo’s Original Gaming Master

Meet Nintendo’s Original Gaming Master


(upbeat music)
– [Narrator] Finding the
master sword in Zelda,
bouncing on a Goomba in Mario,
honing your skills in a duck hunt.
All things you probably did
as a kid with your first Nintendo system.
For most of us, playing
games was a pastime.
But for one lucky man,
this wasn’t some hobby,
it was his job.
1981 was a year of new frontiers.
In the U.S., a new decade of
technology and pop culture
was approaching, making
it a promising land
for booming Japanese companies.
America had said hello to a
kitty a few years earlier,
but it was a gorilla
that stole the attention
of the new generation.
Donkey Kong was Nintendo’s
first big breakthrough
in the western arcade scene.
The game helped the Japanese
company climb its way
up to America, eventually
establishing a new headquarter
in Seattle, Washington,
to bolster their hit.
This is the story of one
of their first employees
who was soon to become a gaming legend.
– No!
– [Narrator] This is Howard Phillips.
This is Howard Phillips’ gaming jacket.
This is Howard Phillips’
original 1989 Game Boy
and this is how Howard
started working at Nintendo.
– Kind of embarrassing.
I started at Nintendo in 1981.
It was really just the five or six of us.
I was the shipping warehouse manager.
My role was to bring in
all of the arcade games
and unload them and record
all the serial numbers
and then pack them up for shipment.
– [Narrator] It doesn’t sound
like the greatest gig in the world,
but working in the warehouse
came with one pretty big perk.
– [Howard] I could play all the games.
Whenever a new game came
in, I could open it up
and plug it in and play it.
– [Narrator] But playing games could never
be a full-time career, or could it?
Nintendo of America was run by this man,
Mr. Minoru Arakawa.
The company was looking to
break into the U.S. market
but needed a little advice.
– The Japanese are very, very
attentive to the customer
and the customer was king.
I was their, kind of, gateway
into the U.S. zeitgeist,
I used to know what players
really wanted to play.
– [Narrator] Why you, Howard?
– Who knows why out of
the few people working
in the company at the
time that I got selected
as being one of the more true voices.
I think it was just my
enthusiasm for play.
You know, I’m a player’s player,
I love to play games.
I love to play at everything.
– [Narrator] In 1985,
Nintendo was ready to move
out from the arcade and
into the living room.
– Mr. Arakawa said to me,
“What do you think are the best games?”
I played them all, and I said, “Mr. Arakawa,
these are the best 15 games.”
“Everybody will love these games.”
– [Narrator] And so the
game master was born.
– Howard Phillips, also
known as Mr. Nintendo.
It’s his job to test every
Nintendo game that comes out.
– What is a game master?
It was really just a
focus on what it means
when a player meets a
game, it’s that connection.
– We were really looking for someone
to represent the gamer
and to speak directly to the gamer.
And Howard really fit the bill.
He was like a grownup, but
he was still like a kid.
He gave you the impression
more of a character
than a business person.
– [Howard] I think the connection
that I had with players
was that shared love of just gaming.
And then their mom or dad would show up
and they would say, but
they’re not educational
or whatever the negative
association was that they wanted
to put with video games and their child.
– It may be the most
addictive toy in history:
Nintendo video games.
– Is it turning their brains to mush?
– Shame on people that produce that trash,
it’s child abuse, in my judgment.
– It was saddening to me that
that’s how parents
perceived their kids’ joy
as something that was maybe a negative.
– [Narrator] Video games had a bad rep,
but Howard could see the positive effects
that the games had on kids.
– It was a shared love of the experience
of discovering something new
or being really, really
frustrated at something
but just trying and being
patient and persistent,
which is learning.
– [Narrator] And the players
wanted to learn more:
more information, more tricks, more tips,
and the game master was there to deliver.
– [Announcer] Nintendo
Power: your direct connection
to the pros for better play.
The official magazine of video mastery.
For ordering information…
– [Howard] My role was to make
sure that every single bit
of information in that
132 pages each month
was accurate and spoke
in a way that the players
wanted to understand and know about.
– [Narrator] But that wasn’t
the only role Howard played.
– When we were setting up all the columns
in Nintendo Power, we
thought it would be great
to include a comic strip.
– [Howard] Howard and
Nester is just a cartoon
that describes a child player
who’s always trying to get
past the next level in a game.
And Howard is the game master
who knows everything
about the games who can provide some tips.
– [Narrator] And Howard is you?
– That’s me.
Dear Howard Phillips, I am 12 years old
and your biggest fan.
My friends and I read Nintendo Power.
You’re the best in your business.
Your biggest fan with a capital B, bye.
The notoriety of being game
master really was crazy.
I would be pumping gas at the gas station,
I would be buying potato
chips at the supermarket,
or I’d be at a movie and
kids would come up to me
and their parents would come up to me
and say “Oh, you’re the guy.”
– [Narrator] The guy who
was able to turn his passion
for video games into a once
in a lifetime opportunity.
So Howard, what was the best
part about being game master?
– It was really fun to
fulfill people’s dreams,
to shake the hand of some little kid
and ask them about their favorite game
and make them feel validated
like they’re smart and cool,
so it was really fun.
Over.

100 thoughts on “Meet Nintendo’s Original Gaming Master

  • March 27, 2018 at 1:04 pm
    Permalink

    Now’s your chance to ask THE REAL Mr. Nintendo, Howard Phillips, anything you want on Reddit. Submit your questions here:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/87i1xs/i_am_howard_phillips_gamemaster_ask_me_anything/

    Reply
  • March 22, 2019 at 6:29 pm
    Permalink

    Nintendo's ninja

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 2:32 pm
    Permalink

    Why is he not wearing shoes at 3:20

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 4:14 pm
    Permalink

    90s this

    2016 2017 2018 2019 ninja nick eh 30

    Reply
  • March 28, 2019 at 12:21 pm
    Permalink

    "the man who tests all nintendo games"

    Feels nice to play mario odyssey….

    Reply
  • March 30, 2019 at 2:16 am
    Permalink

    Man..I salute you.. Must be a one happy life!

    Reply
  • March 30, 2019 at 8:03 am
    Permalink

    Nothing says gamer like a bow tie

    Reply
  • March 31, 2019 at 2:53 pm
    Permalink

    The master sword was'nt in the original zelda.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2019 at 3:16 pm
    Permalink

    Why was Howard barefoot? 5:53

    Reply
  • April 1, 2019 at 10:25 pm
    Permalink

    Nintendo is my favorite company

    Reply
  • April 6, 2019 at 2:39 am
    Permalink

    Compares finding master sword to killing goomba

    w o w u r n o t e d u c a t e d

    Reply
  • April 6, 2019 at 7:14 am
    Permalink

    Never heard of him as an avid gamer and 80’a kid……

    Reply
  • April 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm
    Permalink

    Parents now in day are like I don't care about my kids playing it's just a game

    Reply
  • April 19, 2019 at 9:49 pm
    Permalink

    Video games gave me my patience. Without that, my brother would be in a dumpster right now.

    Reply
  • April 21, 2019 at 3:15 am
    Permalink

    4:04 he just said that video games are "child abuse".

    Reply
  • April 30, 2019 at 10:11 pm
    Permalink

    It's funny how in the past parents were worried about addictive toys. Now those kids are adults and them and their kids are addicted to their phones. Kinda ironic

    Reply
  • May 2, 2019 at 9:54 pm
    Permalink

    the bob ross of video games.

    Reply
  • May 3, 2019 at 7:54 am
    Permalink

    Parents: video games will ruin your life and turn you into nothing

    This guy:

    Reply
  • May 8, 2019 at 12:43 am
    Permalink

    He should play Fortnite

    Reply
  • May 10, 2019 at 2:14 pm
    Permalink

    I’m addicted to the song

    Reply
  • May 16, 2019 at 3:15 am
    Permalink

    Too many gamemaster in pubg

    Reply
  • May 17, 2019 at 1:09 am
    Permalink

    To much of anything is not good moderation is key! Alot or people dnt get that! Video games for enterainment sure but i tend to think its a false sense of accomplishment! Cant wait for the hatefull comments!

    Reply
  • May 23, 2019 at 9:08 am
    Permalink

    I bet that the actual Nintendo counterparts, this nice guy is a totally outcast for them …..

    Reply
  • May 27, 2019 at 1:44 am
    Permalink

    Now we have lots of others who know a lot about video games, including me.

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 5:11 pm
    Permalink

    He looks like he played one too many games? Looks broke ass 💩!!🤭🤭👏👏

    Reply
  • June 9, 2019 at 6:42 pm
    Permalink

    Child abuse?!?

    Reply
  • June 19, 2019 at 4:46 am
    Permalink

    Shame on people who hates video games in the 80s they never know what will happen in the future

    Reply
  • June 20, 2019 at 3:05 pm
    Permalink

    I wish he dis MORE than Nintendo

    Reply
  • June 25, 2019 at 12:14 am
    Permalink

    4:05 more like shame on yourself , how on earth is that child abuse and trash ?😡😡😡😡

    Reply
  • June 25, 2019 at 5:05 pm
    Permalink

    Bouncing On A Koopa In Mario.
    *shows goomba*

    Reply
  • June 26, 2019 at 3:57 pm
    Permalink

    “Nintendo wanted to move out of the arcade, and into the living room.”

    O.o

    Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 12:38 am
    Permalink

    o v e r

    Reply
  • July 1, 2019 at 11:11 am
    Permalink

    What about ninja 😂😂😂😂😂

    Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 4:33 pm
    Permalink

    0:03 Sony and Nintendo…

    Reply
  • July 3, 2019 at 4:18 pm
    Permalink

    In 4:04 in that meeting they were actually talking about mortal Kombat 1

    Reply
  • July 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm
    Permalink

    PewDiePie of the 80s

    Reply
  • July 4, 2019 at 5:38 am
    Permalink

    Just imagine the price of that Game boy if he sold it! He probably has a lot of priceless items in his house! Cool guy tho!

    Reply
  • July 4, 2019 at 8:04 am
    Permalink

    He is Captain N, the Game Master!

    Reply
  • July 5, 2019 at 5:26 am
    Permalink

    I so know how he feels. I manage my library's gaming club its fun to be able to meet with new kids and show them a whole new world of gaming. Plus exploding there little minds with tons of amazing stories on what we grew up with

    Reply
  • July 9, 2019 at 12:31 am
    Permalink

    welcome to gaming t-

    Reply
  • July 10, 2019 at 9:39 am
    Permalink

    My parents are making me do sports! But Nintendo is my passion

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 1:44 am
    Permalink

    Basically Scott the woz with out glasses

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 10:17 pm
    Permalink

    What you haven't played tuber simulator

    Reply
  • July 12, 2019 at 12:41 pm
    Permalink

    "iT's cHiLD AbuSe iN mY JuDGemEnT"

    Reply
  • July 12, 2019 at 1:59 pm
    Permalink

    Howard Phillips for smash

    Reply
  • July 12, 2019 at 5:51 pm
    Permalink

    I doubt that’s his original gameboy

    Reply
  • July 12, 2019 at 7:52 pm
    Permalink

    My first console was a wii

    Reply
  • July 13, 2019 at 7:40 am
    Permalink

    The government are a bunch of bitches when it comes with games. Nintendo Rocks !

    Reply
  • July 13, 2019 at 9:35 pm
    Permalink

    Howard: God I’m embarrassing

    Me: Whattheheckyouworkedtonintendooneofthemostpopularvideogamecompanyeverhowcanyoubeembbaresed.

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 11:05 am
    Permalink

    The best job ever.

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 4:50 pm
    Permalink

    Hi

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 9:40 pm
    Permalink

    Am. Vegan sorry i cant meet

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 9:42 pm
    Permalink

    Our education system turns our brains into fucking mush

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 9:55 pm
    Permalink

    Why were you talking about the master sword when you showed gameplay of the first Zelda?

    Reply
  • July 15, 2019 at 11:23 am
    Permalink

    Wow I just collect pokemon and mario stuff like games

    Reply
  • July 16, 2019 at 8:11 am
    Permalink

    How to complete Mario?

    Reply
  • July 16, 2019 at 11:55 am
    Permalink

    My playing in the gameboy is pokemon

    Reply
  • July 17, 2019 at 8:45 pm
    Permalink

    Absolute legend

    Reply
  • July 18, 2019 at 8:55 am
    Permalink

    But can he beat new super mario bros 2 impossible pack dlc?

    Reply
  • July 19, 2019 at 12:03 am
    Permalink

    4:04 what the hell child abust

    Reply
  • July 22, 2019 at 2:35 am
    Permalink

    Rip iwate

    Reply
  • July 22, 2019 at 5:29 am
    Permalink

    1:00 that's so cool looking. also howard has a mister rogers vibe

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 4:27 pm
    Permalink

    You’re going to interview this guy and NOT talk about Mario 2?! Okay…. thanks…..

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 5:16 pm
    Permalink

    Lived his best life. This guy never truly worked because he loved what he did

    Reply
  • July 25, 2019 at 5:23 am
    Permalink

    Wow! At age 45 Ive been a gamer all my life since the beginning. In this video they showed Nintendo Power Mag and until right now, had completely forgotten abt that mag. I use to read and study every damn page and also loved the comic. Great going down memory lane!

    Reply
  • July 25, 2019 at 8:21 pm
    Permalink

    Thats gamer dedication

    Reply
  • July 25, 2019 at 10:13 pm
    Permalink

    Cant watch woman that never gave a damn about games talking about them. Peace blue pills

    Reply
  • July 26, 2019 at 5:50 am
    Permalink

    I'm still playing with this because this is my childhood

    Reply
  • July 26, 2019 at 9:35 am
    Permalink

    If he's still working with Nintendo then I wish they give him a bigger role, he has reggie fils-aime vibe.

    Reply
  • July 26, 2019 at 12:30 pm
    Permalink

    Errrr, no master sword in zelda 1 guys. You got it wrong. It was called the magic sword

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 5:29 am
    Permalink

    So this is the fucker who barred us from playing the original Super Mario Bros 2

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 11:00 am
    Permalink

    All hail Gamer Lord

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 1:36 am
    Permalink

    You mean you have to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy!

    Reply
  • August 11, 2019 at 3:00 am
    Permalink

    This man's enthusiasm is so palpable and contagious, I love it.

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 12:00 pm
    Permalink

    Bro best job ever ;-;

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 2:36 pm
    Permalink

    It's always Reggie this Reggie that.. Finally a video about Howard Phillips. He's been forgotten by modern Nintendo fans and most other people making retrospective videos. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this.

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 2:15 pm
    Permalink

    1981 the year I was born the 80s was the best decade ever

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 11:51 am
    Permalink

    My first Nintendo was the switch

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 4:42 pm
    Permalink

    There’s only 510 comments and there is 447k views

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 3:07 am
    Permalink

    Funny thing I have all the game boy and only missing NSN and SUPER NSN. I have the rest best ones. Beside the one that made only I. Japan. Well that what I learn one one system we got form. And another thing is the gameboy lite was only made I. Japan. But I think that one was lie. I saw in USA a store once I think. What Nintendo system you have? Write back to me.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 5:20 am
    Permalink

    I subscribed to Nintendo Power when it first came out. I was in 8th grade and I remember it came with a free game, Dragon Warrior(really fun at the time!). Glad to see Howard doing well. I wish I had kept all my old magazines. I had the first few issues of Game Pro and EGM too. Good memories.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 10:49 pm
    Permalink

    I Grew Up Playing Videogames Because Of Nintendo And Sega And Epic Games And EA/Electronic Arts And Jam City And Avalanche Studios And Disney Interactive And WayForward And The Pokemon Company And GameFreak And Activision And Blizzard And Bandai Namco And Square Enix And Level5. And Now, I Can't Stop Playing Because Of Those Companies. Thank You Howard Philips For Bringing Our Childhood To Life. You Made Our Childhoods Awesome And Great And Good And Better. Without You, We'd Be Bored.

    Reply
  • September 13, 2019 at 12:14 am
    Permalink

    To me the most notable issue concerning Philips was Super Mario Bros 2, the original version not the modified Doku Doku Panic.

    He found it difficult but again and without Philips, SMB 2 in America would not be The DDP modified.

    Reply
  • September 14, 2019 at 6:12 pm
    Permalink

    wow this takes me back. I had golf and it was good! also the space wars with coloured asteroids. best game!

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 5:37 am
    Permalink

    They picked the most White guy there probably

    Reply
  • September 18, 2019 at 5:12 pm
    Permalink

    The editing is amazing.

    Reply
  • September 20, 2019 at 12:36 pm
    Permalink

    Theres one of my childhood heros!

    Reply
  • September 22, 2019 at 4:03 am
    Permalink

    It’s all fun and games until you realize you don’t have a girlfriend and still live with your mom.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2019 at 11:41 am
    Permalink

    I hate when parent say video game is negative, how can you call a joy negative, video games can save from being depression and parents just say its negative and can ruin your life f*ck you.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 9:31 pm
    Permalink

    Lol i thought it was the AVGN

    Reply
  • September 28, 2019 at 12:53 am
    Permalink

    video gamer nerd must to invite him to play JLN game 😂

    Reply
  • September 28, 2019 at 7:51 am
    Permalink

    I would like to see someone beat and or play Double Dribble, Nightmare on Elm Street, Hoops and Pole Position.

    Reply
  • September 28, 2019 at 7:24 pm
    Permalink

    The first god howard

    Reply
  • September 29, 2019 at 4:34 am
    Permalink

    This Dude Exists

    Every Gaming Nerd: I'm about to end this man's whole career

    Reply
  • September 29, 2019 at 9:14 am
    Permalink

    sounds like the Big's storyline

    Reply
  • September 29, 2019 at 6:42 pm
    Permalink

    Politics are just bastard by calling a video game child abuse

    Reply
  • September 29, 2019 at 7:33 pm
    Permalink

    This is amazing 🙂 So many memories <3

    Reply
  • September 30, 2019 at 5:14 am
    Permalink

    This guy is the reason why angry video game nerd has rage quit so many times

    Reply
  • October 1, 2019 at 12:57 pm
    Permalink

    So this is the world's first Epic Gamer😐

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *